December is one of those rare months during the calendar year that offers a profusion of holidays. So much for “hot fun in the summertime” as here in the Northern Hemisphere, usually the opposite is true. However, our same gender loving (gay) and bisexual brothers in the Southern Hemisphere have the opportunity to enjoy both the festivities and the warm weather simultaneously! “Go for the gold, Down Under!” You now are responsible for enjoying the season for all the rest of us!
World AIDS Day turns 30 years old today. The very first global commemoration to raise awareness of the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) was observed on December 1, 1988 – seven years into the struggle against HIV/AIDS. Normally, this type of anniversary would be a cause of celebration. However, the fact that humanity still suffers from this disease is no reason for jubilation. Yes, we have had a few remarkable successes in fighting this pandemic; but the fact remains that we continue to lose both lives and talent.
In the USA, tomorrow is Election Day. In every voting district, the entire U.S. Congressional House of Representatives is standing for election. In the U.S. Senate, many Senators are also facing their constituents today. It is not a presidential election year (we could not be so fortunate), but we do have a duty and obligation to determine policies and governance for the next two years. Please, do not stand around waiting for others to decide for you. Please get out and exercise your choice for our future if you have not already done so.
Last year (2017) when a revised version of the rainbow flag was unfurled in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in honor of Gay Pride, it generated quite a controversy. It continues to create heated debate now, more than a year afterwards. This uproar is all centered on a version of the rainbow flag that Philadelphia chose to symbolize their support of all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, and their commitment to respecting diversity. Honorable intentions and no disrespect were intended but obviously not taken by everyone.
October 11, annually, is Coming Out Day a time for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) people to open the closet (secret hiding place) door and step out into the world as a proud member of the GLBTQ community. National Coming Out Day is observed on October 11, in the USA and is also celebrated on October 12, in other countries throughout the world. The term “coming out” is used when persons who are GLBTQ take the steps to let others know of their sexual orientation.
The second Monday of every October is the observed Columbus Day Federal holiday in the USA. It is a national (federal) day set aside to honor Christopher Columbus and the beginning of the colonization of the Americas, both North and South. It is commemorated in some of the individual states in the USA and disregarded in others. It is a controversial observance in that originally it credited Columbus with “discovering” the “New World” when, in fact, all he did was introduce the indigenous populations to exploitation, greed, disease, famine, oppression and theft.
This “Friday Footnote” post I’m publishing here a day early, Thursday. I’ve already composed my “Bare GLBTQ History Month” feature for tomorrow (Friday). Rather than update or trying to re-schedule, it is far easier for me to publish this now. Many of you commented and/or contacted me on Anthony Lynn Douglas’ arrest in New York City in early September at the petition signing for his Bare Body Freedom movement rally in Times Square. He and others were permitted by the New York City to be completely bare at that rally.